More than 5,800 freshmen join Vaquero Nation for Fall

  Monday, August 29, 2022
  Around Campus

By News and Internal Communications

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – For the third straight year, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has recorded a first-day enrollment of more than 32,000 students. 

Among the 32,174 Vaqueros starting the new school year were 5,827 incoming freshmen, the most in school history.  

UTRGV also had a first-day enrollment of more than 4,000 graduate students for the third straight year, including a school record of 494 doctoral students.  

While enrollment figures will not be official until the 12th class day, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said Monday’s numbers reflect the university’s steadfast commitment of providing a high-quality education at an affordable price. 

“Our top priority remains student success, and that starts with providing access to higher education to as many students possible, especially those from the Rio Grande Valley,” Bailey said. “These students will go on to graduate and pursue great careers that will help transform their lives and the lives of their families.” 

UTRGV also welcomes several new cohorts this year as part of the university’s commitment to expand educational opportunities:  

  • The School of Podiatric Medicine (SOPM), the first in Texas and one of only 10 in the United States, starts this fall with an inaugural class of 27 students in its Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program. The new Doctor of Nursing Practice and the Ph.D. in Human Genetics also begin this fall, as well as the Bachelor of Arts in Human Dimensions of Organizations. 
  • Also this fall, 24 students will make history as the first members of Luminary Scholars. Unveiled last year, the one-of-a-kind merit scholarship program offers full tuition and fees for all four undergraduate years and the professional and graduate programs the student is admitted to, including the School of Medicine and SOPM.  
  • The inaugural class of the accelerated online Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration begins later this fall. The first cohort is comprised exclusively of UTRGV employees, and UTRGV will cover all tuition and fees. 

UTRGV students are all smiles on the first day of the Fall 2022 semester on Monday, Aug. 29, at the UTRGV Brownsville Campus.
UTRGV students are all smiles on the first day of the Fall 2022 semester on Monday, Aug. 29, at the UTRGV Brownsville Campus. (UTRGV Photo by David Pike)

“UTRGV is in great shape as we begin our eighth academic year, and a big reason for our success is the ongoing hard work and dedication of our students, faculty and staff,” Bailey said. “We want UTRGV to become the catalyst that transforms the economic life, health and well-being of the Rio Grande Valley, and we are well on our way.” 

Victoria Velazquez, freshman biology major from Lasara, Texas, said UTRGV was the perfect choice because of the campus atmosphere. 

“I love the energy that is surrounding the university,” said Velazquez, who is also a Luminary Scholar and a member of the Vaqueros MD Early Assurance Program. “I love that at UTRGV, you’re not just a number. I also love all the opportunities UTRGV offered me.” 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.